It is hard for me to imagine what the parents of high school students in Chardon, Ohio must be thinking tonight. One student was killed and four more were injured after a student went on a shooting rampage at the Chardon High School this morning.
As parents, we struggle with the awful randomness of events like this. You send your children off to a school that is just like thousands of others, and then one day you receive the horrible news that your child’s unremarkable school has been the scene of a remarkable and tragic event.
Notwithstanding a lot of speculation — much of it offered without a lot of factual basis — it is not yet clear why the shooter acted as he did. The parents of students who were victims must wonder whether their children were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and struggle with why the shooter, among the many students are dealing with significant issues in high schools across the country, decided to act out his problems so violently.
Are we to the point where another school shooting seems commonplace, and is no longer capable of generating outrage? If so, we should fear for our future. If our children cannot go to a public school without fear that they might be gunned down by a troubled classmate, or by a disgruntled nut, then we have lost an essential part of what makes up a civilized country. A society that cannot provide for safe education for its youth is hard-pressed to call itself a society at all.
On Route 60, on the outskirts of Vermilion, sits the decaying edifice of the Vermilion Public School. It is a huge brick building with multiple floors – the kind of school that would not be built today, in our era of single floor facilities.
Although the building seems to be in significant disrepair, the lovely front entrance, with its graceful multiple arches, has escaped the ravages of time. Looking at it today, it’s not hard to imagine the children of Vermilion streaming through that front door, books in hand, chattering with their classmates and ready for another day of school.
We’ve inherited a new dog at Webner House. Her name is Kasey, and yesterday she came to Columbus to join Penny as part of the Webner Kennel Club.
Kasey’s back story is unclear. She was retrieved from the Erie County Humane Society six months ago and served nobly as a companion for Kish’s Mom. We’re not quite sure about her age; our best guess is that she is about seven years old. She appears to have a lot of American Foxhound in her blood lines — which makes getting her around President’s Day particularly appropriate, because the American Kennel Club reports that George Washington bred American Foxhounds and loved the dog.
Although we don’t know much about Kasey’s life so far, we know from experience that she is a sweet, lovable, energetic pooch who is, unfortunately, prone to household accidents. We’ll have to work on training her up to the high Webner House standards of conduct. She’ll be sharing sleeping quarters with Penny, which should be an interesting arrangement.